Gwen Pangle's Blog - Leesburg, VA real estate, Ashburn, VA real estate, Middleburg, VA real estate


Depending on where you live, groceries can be one of the top expenses in your household. Frugal shoppers have found many ways to save at the grocery store over the years, from coupons to price matching. However one of the best ways to save money on groceries and household items is to bulk buy. When you buy items in bulk you give up a small amount of storage space at home, but you gain savings in return. Plus buying in bulk means you're using up less packaging in the long run, helping the environment out as well. Here are the items you should buy in bulk and the items you should avoid.

Food

Whether you have a BJ's or Sam's Club membership or if you seek out good deals online or at your local grocery store, there are a number of food items you can buy in bulk to save money.
  • Cereal. Buying oversized boxes of cereal, especially knock-offs of name brands can save you more than 50% on prices.
  • Rice and beans. Buying food staples in bulk are a great way to save at the grocery store. Rice and beans can be used in any number of dishes for tastes from around the world. They offer meals high in fiber and protein and rich in nutrients.
  • Oatmeal. Large boxes of dried oatmeal will allow you to save money and make your own creations. Add dried or frozen fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or yogurt to your morning oatmeal to keep things interesting.
  • Frozen vegetables. Not only are frozen vegetables cheaper and more convenient, but they often contain more vitamins and nutrients than fresh vegetables because they are frozen immediately after being harvested.

Other home goods

Hand soap. Rather than buying new containers of hand soap every time you run out, wasting money and plastic, buy one large bottle of your favorite soap and refill the bottles in your kitchen and bathrooms. Trash bags. Trash bags bought in bulk don't take up much more room than smaller boxes and you'll get much more for your dollar. Toilet paper. Buying toilet paper in bulk will save you a lot of money. Try storing the huge pack in the basement rather than the bathroom closet, keeping just one or two extra rolls in the bathroom to save space. Toothpaste and toothbrushes. Toothpaste is a well known bulk-buy, but toothbrushes bought in packs of 2 or more are also a great way to save. Set a reminder in your phone to change toothbrushes at least once every three months.

Things not to buy in bulk

Condiments. The temptation is there to buy a huge bottle of honey mustard and save a few cents. But unless you eat it every day, odds are your condiments will expire before you use them and take up a ton of room in your refrigerator. Plastic tupperware. Rather than buying cheap plastic tupperware at the grocery store every few months, buy one good glass set that will last years. Fresh fruit. It's tempting to buy that huge bag of clementines, but you'll be kicking yourself when they start to rot and hardly any have been eaten. You're better off stopping at the store and buying small amounts of fresh fruits when you want them rather than assuming you'll eat them.  

Imagine if you could make your student loan disappear. According to American Student Assistance, a non-profit that aims to educate young people about money say it is possible. Both the federal and state government, as well as some non-profit organizations offer loan "forgiveness" programs. Do the right paperwork and you could be loan free. While there is no single comprehensive listing of loan forgiveness programs, there are programs for some specific professions. Here are a few of those: Law school graduates who become a district attorney or a public defender are eligible to apply for the John R. Justice student loan repayment program. This program pays up to $4,000 a year towards an eligible applicant's debt up to the maximum of $60,000 per graduate. The National Health Service Corps offers an even more generous program for health professionals. This program repays up to $60,000 in debt in just two years for students working in medicine, dentistry or mental health in underserved communities. Graduates who are willing to work part-time on medical research could eliminate up to $35,000 in debt per year with a program funded by The National Institutes of Health. If you are willing to trade a few years of service for loan forgiveness you are in luck. There are various federally funded loan repayment programs for fire fighters, teachers, nurses, librarians, speech pathologists and employees of non-profits.  The programs don't typically ask graduates to work for free but they might receive less pay in order to repay the loan. The value of the loan repayment is likely to more than compensate for the lost wages. Because there is no comprehensive list of forgiveness programs it pays to do your research. There are many organization's websites that can help students find the right fit.



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